Thailand launches “Phuket Sandbox” plan for pandemic tourism. List of authorized countries | World news
Hoping to breathe new life into its tourism industry, Thailand on Thursday launched its ambitious “Phuket Sandbox” plan to welcome foreigners without having to be locked in a hotel room for a 14-day quarantine. Thailand is heavily dependent on the tourism sector which accounts for about a fifth of the country’s economy and, according to a Reuters analysis, the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic epidemic has put the nation through Southeast Asia a loss of about $ 50 billion.
As of June 30, fully vaccinated international tourists from 63 countries and three territories have been allowed into Thailand for a quarantine-free trip under the “Phuket Sandbox” plan. For Japan, travelers only for business purposes will be allowed. But instead of self-quarantining at a hotel or government-approved facilities, tourists will have to stay within the boundaries of the popular resort island of Phuket for 14 days in order to access the rest of Thailand.
Much of the island’s local population was vaccinated against Covid-19 as part of the “Phuket Sandbox” plan. While Thailand’s unique program is to provide relatively free travel within the country, it involves a fair amount of direction and paperwork. Foreign travelers will be required to undergo an RT-PCR test at their own expense upon arrival in the country and await the results of the test in the accommodation.
Read also | Covid-19 could spread in China since October-November 2019: new study
After spending 14 nights in Phuket, travelers will be allowed to continue their travel to other Thai destinations, but will have to follow local restrictions in each province. International tourists can also stay in Phuket for less than 14 days and then travel to another country.
British Airways, Cathay Pacific, El Al, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and THAI have announced direct flights to Phuket. Travelers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were not allowed entry Phuket sandbox.
Here is the list of countries from which travelers can enter Phuket Sandbox:
- Antigua and Barbados
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
- Hong Kong
About 200 passengers on flights from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Singapore were due to land on the island on Thursday. The first 25 travelers arrived on an Etihad Airways flight before noon and underwent screening procedures as directed.